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Old 11-19-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
rallye OP
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Past dakar winners

Any theories on why the winners of the Dakar are predominently Italian (6) or French (19 wins) ?
there are only 4 Nationalities of people to ever win the Dakar ,and all from countries that don't have deserts!!
see below for past winners.
Plenty other nationalities have made it to the podium ,but not on top.
Considering there are up to 43 different nationalities entered each year (later years,not so many in the early history of Dakar).
it would be interesting to hear others theories.




Cyril DESPRES (FRA), KTM 450 Rally Mar del Plata - Copiapo - Lima
2011
1 Marc COMA (SPA), KTM 450 Rally Buenos Aires - Arica - Buenos Aires
2010
2 Cyril DESPRES (FRA), KTM 690 Rally Buenos Aires - Antofagasta - Buenos Aires
2009
2 Marc COMA (SPA), KTM 690 Rally Buenos Aires - Valparaiso - Buenos Aires
2008
-

2007
2 Cyril DESPRES (FRA), KTM 690 Rally Lisboa - Dakar
2006
2 Marc COMA (SPA), KTM LC4 660R Lisboa - Dakar
2005
2 Cyril DESPRES (FRA), KTM LC4 660R Barcelona - Dakar
2004
4 Nani ROMA (SPA), KTM LC4 660R Clermont-Ferrand - Dakar
2003
3 Richard SAINCT (FRA), KTM LC4 660R Marseille - Sharm el Sheikh
2002
1 Fabrizio MEONI (ITA), KTM LC8 950R Arras - Madrid - Dakar
2001
3 Fabrizio MEONI (ITA), KTM LC4 660R Paris - Dakar
2000
1 Richard SAINCT (FRA), BMW F650RR Paris - Dakar - Cairo
1999
12 Richard SAINCT (FRA), BMW F650RR Granada - Dakar
1998
1 Stephane PETERHANSEL (FRA), Yamaha YZE850T Paris - Granada - Dakar
1997
1 Stephane PETERHANSEL (FRA), Yamaha YZE850T Dakar - Agades - Dakar
1996
3 Edi ORIOLI (ITA), Yamaha YZE850T Granada - Dakar
1995
4 Stephane PETERHANSEL (FRA), Yamaha YZE850T Granada - Dakar
1994
92 Edi ORIOLI (ITA), Cagiva Elefant 900 Paris - Dakar - Paris
1993
1 Stephane PETERHANSEL (FRA), Yamaha YZE850T Paris - Tanger - Dakar
1992
30 Stephane PETERHANSEL (FRA), Yamaha YZE850T Paris - Sirte - Cape Town
1991
80 Stephane PETERHANSEL (FRA), Yamaha YZE750T Paris - Tripoli - Dakar
1990
92 Edi ORIOLI (ITA), Cagiva Elefant 900 Paris - Tripoli - Dakar
1989
100 Gilles LALAY (FRA), Honda NXR750V Paris - Tunis - Dakar
1988
83 Edi ORIOLI (ITA), Honda NXR750V Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1987
95 Cyril NEVEU (FRA), Honda NXR750V Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1986
95 Cyril NEVEU (FRA), Honda NXR750V Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1985
101 Gaston RAHIER (BEL), BMW GS980R Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1984
101 Gaston RAHIER (BEL), BMW GS980R Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1983
100 Hubert AURIOL (FRA), BMW GS980R Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1982
95 Cyril NEVEU (FRA), Honda XL500R Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1981
100 Hubert AURIOL (FRA), BMW GS800R Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1980
50 Cyril NEVEU (FRA), Yamaha XT500 Paris - Algiers - Dakar
1979
12 Cyril NEVEU (FRA), Yamaha XT500
ners
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallye View Post

Any theories on why the winners of the Dakar are predominently Italian (6) or French (19 wins) ? there are only 4 Nationalities of people to ever win the Dakar ,and all from countries that don't have deserts!!
see below for past winners.

Plenty other nationalities have made it to the podium, but not on top.
Considering there are up to 43 different nationalities entered each year (later years, not so many in the early history of Dakar).
it would be interesting to hear others theories.
TERRAIN wise:

I think to simply say that these countries don't have deserts... is too simplistic.

Accona desert, Tuscany region central Italy.


Sardinia, Italy


Aragon region - Spain;


Tabernas desert, Almeria region - Spain.


La Garrigue, southern France;



All of these countries (Spain, Italy and France) have semi arid/desert like regions where riders are familiar with the terrain and temperatures that occur in dry desert landscapes.

GEOGRAPHICALLY:

These three countries all have relatively ease of access to the northern African/Sahara, where the majority of "desert rally" events were born/conducted in the 1980's/1990's



POLITICALLY/CULTURE-RALLY:

And of course, the promotors/organisers of the events came predominantly from either France or Italy...

The RIDERS as INDIVIDUALS:

If - in an attempt to explain why only these four nationalities have dominated the MOTO podium - we look at the individuals concerned... and the times at which they reigned.

The earliest editions of the Paris-Dakar through the 80's were dominated by three names... Neveu, Auriol and Rahier.* In these first years the event was very much a French curiosity/speciality. Starting in central Paris at new years eve each year, it was (along with Tour de France) quickly adopted as one of the spporting/cultural highlights of the year and as a result french competitors, teams and sponsors supported the event wholeheartedly...as did a vast number of the public.

* Okay... so Rahier is from Belgium, but as a French speaking nation with it's proximity to France, the transition is one not so remarkable.

In the 1980's Cyril Neveu (5), Hubert Auriol (2) and Gaston Rahier (2) were the equivalent of todays "aliens"... they were a step above the others and all won multiple occassions.

1989 won Gilles Lalay (Neveu's french Honda team mate) but unfortunately the following year the Dakar claimed him, and he is remembered as a great rider with one title to his name.

When the 1990's came along - so did a new french "Alien" - Stefan Perfecthansel. His string of domination (six victories) was broken only by the efforts of another great champion - Edi Orioli (Italy) who garnered 4 Dakar titles and enjoyed many battles with Peterhansel.

After Peterhansel's time on the throne came a new french successor - Ricard Sainct (1999/2000 & then 2003) and then the Roman Emperor - Fabrizio Meoni (Italy) - who ushered in another "Dakar empire"... that of KTM*.

I saddens many of us that these two great riders were taken from us, by they sport they loved and excelled at... though that too seems to be a part of the legend.

Since 2001 the KTM "creche" that Kinigadner/Arcarons created in the late 1990's bore fruit... After Meoni's two LC8 victories, and Sainct's double defection back from BMW (2003)... came the single victory for Nani Roma of Spain (2004) and since then the unbroken record of KTM's position atop the podium has been upheld by the Despres (4 wins) and Coma (3 wins) alien alliance.

Now aside from the (sometimes) claimed french parochial nature of the ASO... it cannot be denied that all of these great French*, Italian and Spanish riders have an enourmous amount of desert riding experience, AND they rode for the strongest teams of the day.

Which raises another interesting point;

The FACTORY TEAMS and SPONSORS that they rode for...

In the 1980's... HONDA and BMW were the first to really throw sponsorship (tobacco industry) muscle behind their Dakar efforts... the results reflect this.

In the 1990's both Cagiva and yamaha made very big factory team efforts - with big outside sponsorship budgets (tobacco) and they took home the lions share of the winnings.

In 1990/2000 BMW decided they wanted to come back to DAKAR and WIN in order to promote their new F650 machines... so the did... with tobacco money behind them.

In 2001 KTM decided to kick it into another gear... with the cigarette smoke now dissapating from the revenue possibilites (du to the worldwide trend to ban tobacco sponsorship of sport) and so it came down to another longtime sponsorship avenue (fuel companies) and a refreshingly new source of companies evolved to promote their wares via the DAKAR....

ENERGY DRINK COMPANIES...

It's to the point today that nearly every leading team in just about every form of motorsport has either a Monster, a Rockstar, a Red Bull or some form of caffienated sugar reduced concoction associated with their efforts.

Given the fact that both HONDA and Husqvarna, have stepped up the level of their commitment, to rival that of KTM over the last decade the question is; if we are trying to tip a winner for the 2013 DAKAR in the MOTO category, maybe we should factor in these points to consider as well;

Riders Nationality/geographic location:

Riders Nationality/Team ASO contacts:

Riders Rally experience/Alien status:

FACTORY team behind the rider:

SPONSOR behind the factory team:



When you factor in these parameters into the matrix... well statistically it seems about time that a perhaps a latin American name might make it's presence known on the short list of nationalities that have won the Moto category of the DAKAR to date?
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troy safari carpente View Post


The FACTORY TEAMS and SPONSORS that they rode for...

Riders Nationality/geographic location = higher viewership

Higher viewership = higher sponsorship $$$ and factory teams attracted to top regional rallye riders


When you factor in these parameters into the matrix... well statistically it seems about time that a perhaps a latin American name might make it's presence known on the short list of nationalities that have won the Moto category of the DAKAR to date?
I was thinking a different "equation", but same conclusion.

The top echlon riders from France, Italy and spain (for the same investment) get/got the sponsors more media exposure and therefore better at increasing the sale of smokes/fuel/lolly water and bikes.

so they were able to get more Dakar races in to elevate their skill level, as well as the bikes and well funded teams to enable them to win.

I to wouldn't be surprised if the next nationality to be added to the winners list is a South American one.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
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[COLOR=silver]
I to wouldn't be surprised if the next nationality to be added to the winners list is a South American one.
I am hoping on a Southern European one. With easy access to North African deserts, lolly water sponsorship, factory team and loads of experience.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:06 AM   #5
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I am hoping on a Southern European one. With easy access to North African deserts, lolly water sponsorship, factory team and loads of experience.
Yes good point, Helder could be the most likely add another nationality to the winners list! (I get him and Ze helio confused all the time. I don't know why, I think speaking portugese is all they have in common)
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos M View Post
I am hoping on a Southern European one. With easy access to North African deserts, lolly water sponsorship, factory team and loads of experience.
yeah time for Portugal to be on the list of winners

and another Aussie on the podium
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:42 AM   #7
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Winning becomes a habit...?

Another interesting statistic... nani Roma is the only rider ever to have won the Dakar just once... All the others have won at least two (often consecutively).

Perhaps one of the toughest hurdles (mentally) is to break through for that first win...?

In terms of predicting the DAKAR form guide, it is interesting to note that Coma and Despres are the only moto competitors entered for 2013, who have won the event previously.

Even if you take into account names of other riders entered for this coming edition who have won over the "Coma/Despres" monopoly in various FIM rallies during the last seven years... the list is a pretty short one. (is it just Chaleco & Helder ?).

Maybe "winning" Dakar is as much about that mental hurdle and having everything fall into place... as putting yourself in the position to win?
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troy safari carpente View Post
Maybe "winning" Dakar is as much about that mental hurdle and having everything fall into place... as putting yourself in the position to win?
Mental toughness and ability to manage the adversity seems to be a rare but winning trait.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:02 AM   #9
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Speaking about THE DAKAR WINNERS, I think the tradition in Enduro is important, obviously, but...

just few strenght guys win Dakar. Look at the DAKAR ERA:

1979-1987: 3 winners FRANCE & BELGIUM
1988 - 1998: 3 WINNERS: FRANCE & ITALY
1999 - 2004: 3 WINNERS: FRANCE - ITALY & SPAIN
2005 - 2012 : JUST 2 WINNERS... FRANCE & SPAIN...

As you can see, in each era just 2/3 big drivers got the knowledge to manage all the focus to win Dakar: strenght, drive technique, orientation and speed at same time, 6th sense...and luck during all the race, from start to finish.

And it's not easy, for nobody, in next Dakar, to take part in the "GOTA" of the WINNERS!!!
Despres and Coma are still fast and professional.



1979Neveu
1980Neveu
1981Auriol
1982Neveu
1983Auriol
1984Rahier
1985Rahier
1986Neveu
1987Neveu
1988Orioli
1989Lalay
1990Orioli
1991Peterhansel
1992Peterhansel
1993Peterhansel
1994Orioli
1995Peterhansel
1996Orioli
1997Peterhansel
1998Peterhansel
1999Sainct
2000Sainct
2001Meoni
2002Meoni
2003Sainct
2004Roma
2005Despres
2006Coma
2007Despres
2008 ///
2009Coma
2010Despres
2011Coma
2012Despres
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #10
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My theory is that all the winners have been World or National Enduro champions in the past .
Years of enduro at the top level seems to be the recipe for good rally riders , All have exceptional skills and a natural ability to read unseen ground very quickly.
I think ,Gaston Rahier was the only MX world champion to win the Dakar ,not sure what offroad /enduro experience he had !.
As years go by ,KTM now have so much experience they can teach the art of Rally racing ,although there don't seem to be too many younger guys coming through for KTM,
The 2 top guys have their ever faithful water carriers ,but don't seem to have anyone who will take over the reins.
Maybe Coma and Despres plan to be around a while longer yet, i hope so.
Or maybe KTM are hoping Johhny Aubert and Taddy Bluzasiak will be the new guys to come through,both exceptional riders and already in the KTM system.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallye View Post
My theory is that all the winners have been World or National Enduro champions in the past .
Years of enduro at the top level seems to be the recipe for good rally riders , All have exceptional skills and a natural ability to read unseen ground very quickly.
I think ,Gaston Rahier was the only MX world champion to win the Dakar ,not sure what offroad /enduro experience he had !.
As years go by ,KTM now have so much experience they can teach the art of Rally racing ,although there don't seem to be too many younger guys coming through for KTM,
The 2 top guys have their ever faithful water carriers ,but don't seem to have anyone who will take over the reins.
Maybe Coma and Despres plan to be around a while longer yet, i hope so.
Or maybe KTM are hoping Johhny Aubert and Taddy Bluzasiak will be the new guys to come through,both exceptional riders and already in the KTM system.
KTM did have a certain young MX rider and had advised him he had to wait a while, but in waiting a more attractive and immediate offer came along

They have certainly been thinking about the future though

http://freeridemx.com/dubai-motox/
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:09 PM   #12
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Wonder if David Knight will or wants a crack at the dakar?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:10 AM   #13
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Age, maturity, experience...?

The OP (rallye) sent me a PM wondering what the age/average age of the DAKAR moto winners was... wondering if that plays a part in the pedigree?

Well this is what I came up with;

Cyril Neveu (5 wins) age 23 (1979 first) & 31 y.o. (1987 last)


Hubert Auriol win 1981 & 83 (29/31 y.o.)


Gaston Rahier 1984 (37 y.o.) & 1985 (38) R.I.P.


Gilles Lalay won 1989 age 27 R.I.P


Edi Oriol (4 wins) age 26 (1988 first) & 34 y.o. (1996 last)



Stephane Peterhansel (6 wins) age 26 (1991 first) & 33 y.o. (1998 last)



Richard Sainct (3 wins) age 29 (1999 & 2000) & 33 y.o. (2003 last) R.I.P


Fabrizio Meoni won 2001/02 age 44/45 R.I.P


Nani Roma won 2004 age 32


Cyril Despres (4 wins) age 31 (2005 first) & 38 y.o. (2012 most recent)


Marc Coma (3 wins) age 30 (2006 first) & 35 y.o. (2011 most recent)




YOUNGEST rider to win - Neveu (23 years - 1979)

OLDEST rider to win - Meoni (45 years - 2002)

Average age of winners - 31,5 years old.

14 of the 33 winners to date were LESS than 31 years old at the time they achieved victory. The majority of these victories came in the rally's first 20 year history. In recent times (the last decade) the statitistics have been in favour of the more mature/experienced (31 years plus) riders.

This seems to back up the theory that experience and mental attitude is as important (or more) than pure riding ability/speed.


I don't think these guys are done... just yet.

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troy safari carpente screwed with this post 11-21-2012 at 01:17 AM
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troy safari carpente View Post
Fabrizio Meoni won 2001/02 age 44/45 R.I.P


Cyril Despres (4 wins) age 31 (2005 first) & 38 y.o. (2012 most recent)


Marc Coma (3 wins) age 30 (2006 first) & 35 y.o. (2011 most recent)

OLDEST rider to win - Meoni (45 years - 2002)
So am I the only one that thinks Troy just said I've just hit my prime as a rallye racer.





I might just aim for actually getting back to condo750 before I'm 45,








and not losing my time card mid event
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:16 AM   #15
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I never knew the Cagiva/Ducati won Dakar twice. That little Pantah motor was quite versatile!
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